How to Choose Cutting Boards For Japanese Knives | Ultimate Buying Guide

Choosing a perfect chopping surface should be your first consideration after purchasing a Japanese knife. For people interested in finding the best cutting board for a Japanese knife, this little meditation on how to choose cutting boards for Japanese knives may be of use for you to find a perfect cutting board for your Japanese knives.

We’re not attempting to be conclusive; instead, we’re bringing up some things you may not have considered before and should start considering now.

The Hardness of Cutting Boards

The hardness of a cutting board is the most crucial aspect to consider when purchasing a cutting board for Japanese knives.
Hardness decides which cutting boards should be used with a variety of knives. Hardness between 700-1500   is usually considered suitable for cutting boards. However, the hardness between 700-1100 is perfect to be on the safer side when it comes to Japanese knives.

What type of cutting boards is best for Japanese knives?

Cutting boards that are rigid enough to withstand the strength of a Japanese knife while being soft enough not to damage or dull your Japanese knives are perfect for them.
Synthetic rubber and end grain cutting boards are ideal for Japanese knives since they can perfectly handle all of the obstacles that sharp Japanese blades may provide.

Synthetic Rubber Cutting Boards for Japanese Knives

Cutting boards that are rigid enough to withstand the strength of a Japanese knife while being soft enough not to damage or dull your Japanese knives are perfect for them.
Synthetic rubber is among the best materials you can use for your Japanese chopping knife, and it is one of the most affordable options out there.
Even though rubber is a robust material that can withstand rigorous chopping, it is soft enough not to dull the blade. Although rubber is a relatively soft material, you will not see any scuff marks on a rubber cutting board.
In contrast to wooden cutting boards, rubber cutting boards are water-resistant and can withstand staining and spillage.

Hinoki (Japanese cypress) cutting board for Japanese Knives

With a hardness of 510, hinoki cutting boards are so far the best option after synthetic rubber cutting boards.
Although it is a highly valued board material, it can be pretty costly. The wood is just the perfect choice for your Japanese knives.
Do you work as a high-end sushi chef at a restaurant open to the public? Or are you a devoted user of Japanese knives? If that’s the case, maybe a monstrous block of Kiso hinoki cutting board is just what you’re looking for.
While soft on your Japanese blades, these boards have a pleasant fragrance, high durability and are easy to clean, making hinoki wood perfect for Japanese knives. 

End-Grain Cutting Board For Japanese Knives(Hardness: 622)

End-grain wood, often known as “self-healing wood,” is highly regarded as the best wood cutting board for Japanese knives by culinary professionals for its capacity to mend itself.
The end-grain cutting boards are ideal for use because they are soft enough not to harm the blades and firm enough to withstand repeated use.
However, we can’t help but be concerned about the amount of adhesive and the wood species used in its construction.
If you’ve decided on an end-grain checkerboard design, inquire about the glue and wood used during its construction. If your magnificent end grain cutting board does not pass muster, then it’s perfect to use this board under your Japanese knife.
The sole disadvantage is that an end grain board is generally more expensive than just an edge grain board or a wooden bamboo board, to name a few alternatives.

Edge-Grain cutting board (Last Option)

The hardness of edge-grain cutting boards depends on the materials they are constructed of, so these boards don’t have a specific hardness. However, edge-grain cutting boards are usually made of maple, which has a hardness of 1450.
The primary distinction is that edge-grain boards are typically made from pieces of diverse hardwoods that have been bonded together with the fibers aligned, making them far less expensive to manufacture in the long run.
An edge-grain cutting board will cost you less money but may dull your Japanese knife, as usually edge-grain cutting boards are made by combining hardwoods, which are undoubtedly not recommended for Japanese knives.
Edge-grain cutting boards do not heal like end-grain, thus having a shorter life span.

Cutting Boards to Avoid with Japanese Knives

Cutting boards that are abrasive to the blades and have a harness above the range of 700-1100 should not be considered for use with Japanese knives.

The Following Cutting Boards Should Not Be Used With Japanese Knives:

Plastic Cutting Boards For Japanese Knives

If you seek an inexpensive cutting board at the shop, you’re likely to discover one made of plastic. While a plastic cutting board is cheap, it is not exceptionally durable.
Each time you use your Japanese cutting knife, scratch marks will appear on the board since these boards are too soft, and the Japanese blade will embed itself in the board, which will cause deep grooves and scratches. Scratches may accumulate germs and food particles, resulting in an unclean environment for your components as well.

Steel Cutting Boards

These cutting boards are very harsh and can quickly dull your expensive Japanese blades, thus there is no need to use steel cutting boards for Japanese knives when there are multiple options available.

Glass & Stone Cutting Board

While a cutting board made of stone, marble, or glass may seem attractive, they are not practical. The hard surface provides total resistance, while a wooden cutting board may absorb part of the knife’s energy. This causes the blade to dull significantly more rapidly and may result in irreversible damage.

Hardwood Cutting Boards

While these cutting boards are beneficial for other knives, they are dangerous to Japanese knives since they are constructed of carbon steel and are very sharp, and utilizing hardwoods such as maple, beech, teak, and oak may cause considerable damage to your Japanese knives. 

Caring for Japanese Cutting Boards

You must be taking special care of your cutting board which is being used with a Japanese knife. If not then you should because not caring for your cutting board not only affects your cutting board but also affects your pricey Japanese knives as well.

Stored Them Safely

Just like anything else, storing your chopping board in direct sunlight or moist conditions will cause it to naturally wear down faster than storing it in a dark, dry position out of direct sunlight. You don’t have to be very meticulous; after all, it’s just a chopping board, but doing a few simple steps will make a significant impact.

Dishwasher Is Not the Place for This!

Placing it in the dishwasher is an easy way to end up with a sad-looking board, regardless of the material you’re using. Hot water and chemicals deteriorate the board more quickly, and the slight warping they cause makes it ugly and less functional over time.
Spend less money, but don’t skimp on quality. Cleaning your cutting board with warm, soapy water and carefully drying it is the best way to keep it in peak shape. If you take good care of your chopping board, it will last for many years.
But when you are using a plastic cutting board you can use the dishwasher.

Let the Knife Do It

If you cut too hard, which is not needed when using a Japanese knife, the blade will slice the chopping board and Cause scratches and groves. This prevents the chopping board from extending as much, creating permanent indents. When chopping or cutting, use a firm grip and use moderate power.
using Glass steel and marble Many people will choose a glass board because it is easy to clean, but this is a bad idea.


Is Acacia Wood Ok For Japanese Knives?

With a hardness of 1700 acacia wood cutting board is not recommended for Japanese knives while this wood cutting board is gaining popularity due to its water-resistant, and long-lasting properties.

Are plastic cutting boards bad for Japanese knives?

It’s self-explanatory why you’d select a cutting board that is certain to leave grooves and scratches when used with Japanese knives. Plastic cutting boards are too soft, which is bad when it comes to Japanese knives, which are too sharp for plastic cutting boards.

Final Thoughts

Choosing a cutting board that is not too soft to cause grooves and not too hard to dull your knives is the best one for Japanese knives. If you are not willing to waste time thinking about which board to buy for Japanese knives, then close your eyes and buy a cutting board made of synthetic rubber, hinoki wood, or end-grain cutting board—a decision you will never regret.
Choosing a suitable cutting board for a Japanese knife is really mind daunting, but We hope that this little contemplation may assist in avoiding that specific consequence. It’s important to remember that the incredible sharpness of your Japanese steel should be preserved and that the cutting board you choose can impact this.
Also Read: Cleaning Plastic Cutting BoardsBest Cutting Board For Meat

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